Quinn is a student at our school, and one whom I have taught.....
Quinn, ICD ( I Challenge Diabetes) Participant
We selected Quinn as a highlight piece because the ICD team has really gotten to know him and has really valued his desire to succeed. This was based on his performance at Dskate in training as well as his willingness to try new strategies to stabilize his blood. At just 13 years old, he writes a powerful story. Thanks Quinn!
Hi, my name is Quinn, and I was diagnosed with type one diabetes when I was ten years old. I just turned 13 this summer. I found out I had diabetes because I got super sick and I lost over 10lb in 2 weeks. When I got sick, I was always thirsty and hungry, and I had to use the washroom a lot. It was during hockey and basketball season, and I was so tired and couldn’t play well. I just couldn’t keep up. People were yelling to skate faster or run faster and I just couldn’t. My doctor sent us to emergency after she checked my blood sugar. My BG was over 35 (over 630), and I ended up in the hospital for 3 days. While I was in the hospital, they taught me and parents how to check my BG, count carbs and figure out how much insulin I needed to bolus for food. My friends don’t mind that I have diabetes, so they treat me the exact same as always. Two of my friends did a presentation on diabetes for the school so everyone would know why I needed to take insulin. Sometimes a kid will come up to me at school and ask me what I’m doing when I’m checking my BG or bolousing, so I just tell them. I’m OK with that.
I went right back to school the day after I got out of the hospital. For the first few days at school my parents had to give me my insulin shots, but then my nurse Carol started to come every day at lunch to help me out. It was hard for me to take needles because I’m afraid of needles, but I took the shots because I needed them to stay healthy. I really, really, really do not like needles, and I have yet to give myself one. I just haven’t been brave enough yet. I’m afraid I’m going to hurt myself. But because I never tried to give myself my own needles my parents always had to be available. I was so happy I got my pump. I didn’t have to take needles every day, and I could take care of myself. I still need my mom to put my cannula in every three days, but I have more independence to take care of my diabetes on my own.
I really need to learn to put my own cannula in, but I get really upset thinking about doing it myself. I’m afraid I’ll hurt myself or do it wrong. But with the pump I have been able to go on my school camping trips, go to NYC with the UN Club and the junior high year-end trip to Ottawa. The pump is the best.
Diabetes hasn’t stopped me from playing sports. I play hockey, rugby, rock climb, golf, bike, swim, and ski. I have to adjust my basal and my bolus calculation before I play any sports, and it is different for each sport. It has taken a bit to figure that out, and we are still working on it. My Nurse Educator at the hospital helps, and we have learned a lot at DSKATE. I have to take my pump off when I play rugby, and that makes me go high. Well not wearing my pump and adrenaline from playing rugby makes me go high. The games are long, and my pump is off for almost two hours sometimes. We haven’t quite figured out how to keep my BG in a good range for the whole time when I play rugby, but I have started to give myself a bolus at half-time which is helping.
I go to the Hospital Pediatric Diabetes Clinic every three months. I have a whole team who help me. I have my Nurse Educator, Judy; my nutritionist, Nicole; and my social worker, Mary. In the beginning, they taught me how to count carbs and calculate my bolus. But now they help me figure out how to reduce my basal and subtract carbs from my bolus calculation to keep from going low when I play sports. My social worker, Mary, told us about DSKATE. I love DSKATE because it is better than every other hockey camp I have ever been to. I also like it because you get to meet famous diabetic athletes and that everyone else there has diabetes. I also like how you have nurses to help you on the ice or dryland when you are feeling low. I like how we have mentors from I Challenge Diabetes who help out with dryland and tell us new ways to manage our diabetes better. While I was at camp, I learned how pre bolusing before meals works better because the insulin gets into you faster. I've started doing that before breakfast every day, and my lunch BG is better.
I’m lucky; my A1C’s have all been between 7.0 to 7.5. I think it’s because I do a lot of sports, and my parents won’t allow me to not manage my diabetes well. I have a lot of people who help me, and my friends don’t treat me different because I have diabetes. I do everything I have always done. I sometimes have to stop to check my BG because I’m feeling low but that doesn’t take much time to do. I’m also glad that I have met so many other people with T1D because you can learn a lot from other people.
I'm very proud of Quinn. His mom and I keep in touch and trade info.